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Moscow calls for upgrade of security agreements

The US has agreed to work with Russia to combat threats facing Europe. The statement comes in the middle of the draft European security treaty discussion at the OSCE meeting in Greece.

Russia is calling for change to the entire system of global security. At the OSCE meeting in Athens, the Russian Foreign Minister has presented President Medvedev's new European security treaty draft.

While presenting the draft document to his colleagues, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said that outdated Cold War stereotypes have to go, and principles of trust must take their place.

President Medvedev came up with the idea of new European security architecture in June last year, saying that the current system is outdated and inefficient. Since the South Ossetian war just two months afterwards, Moscow has been promoting the idea within the international community.

On Sunday, Medvedev sent the draft European security treaty to heads of state and the chief executives of NATO, the CIS, the EU and other major international organizations.

The draft Russia has produced after a year-and-a-half’s work stipulates that signatory sides will follow the principle of “indivisible, equal and undiminished security.”

Thus the treaty suggests a larger notion of European security, which embraces not only Europe but the entire Euro-NATO and Eurasian spaces “from Vancouver to Vladivostok”. The document, made up of 14 articles, implies new tools for the prevention and settlement of disagreements and reaction to new security challenges and threats.

The document has been widely discussed at the two-day OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) summit in Greece.

France said that it likes the idea of the treaty, but that new changes and improvements need to be made to it.

“We are all looking for substance,” said French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

On Tuesday, Sergey Lavrov outlined that the existing documents relating to European security need to be updated. Specifically, these include the CFE treaty (Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe) and the Vienna document dealing with confidence- and security-building measures.

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“We are again urging all partners to begin intensive work to revive the CFE using all channels,” the Russian Foreign Minister said.

Lavrov recalled that nothing has been done to find a way out of the deadlock in the CFE talks over the past two years.

“We still have no response to Russia's proposals made on May 5, 2009 on further steps on the basis of the Russian-US draft package proposal,” he said

As for the Vienna document which dates back to 1999, Lavrov said, “We suggested making a profound review of the OSCE military and political tools in order to see whether it corresponds to the current realities and to start working on new confidence- and security-building measures.”

The Athens meeting will be followed by a Russia-NATO summit in Brussels – the first since the conflict in South Ossetia. At the meeting, the parties will try to adapt a roadmap for future cooperation, which was previously in place but halted after the Caucasus war.